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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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October 21, 2008 7:39 AM

Games news roundup: E3 making a comeback; Xbox Live Primetime delayed to spring; more

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Rumor has it that the Entertainment Software Association, which produces the E3 video game conference, will make an announcement today about the future of the event. Once a sprawling, raucous, free-wheeling event for fans, media and games industry insiders, E3 was dramatically scaled back each of the last two years and became less relevant. The E3 changes left an opening for shows such as the Penny Arcade Expo, held in Seattle, to fill the void for games fans. The new old E3 could have as many as 40,000 people, according to an anonymous source quoted by Newsweek's Level Up blog.

Forbes reports that Xbox Live Primetime, the new feature of Microsoft's online gaming network that would allow players to participate in a virtual episode of the game show "1 vs. 100" with thousands of others, will not be available until spring. As Forbes points out, it takes a bit of wind out of the sails of Microsoft's upcoming launch of the new user experience for the console and the Live network, aimed squarely at a broader audience of consumers with features such as the Primetime games.

Catching up from last week, word spread late last week of a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft for its handling of the so-called "Red Ring of Death" failures of the Xbox 360 console. VentureBeat's games expert Dean Takahashi has the story of the case, filed Sept. 19. The plaintiff's attorney references Takahashi's extensive reports on the game console's history.

Check out this series of brief video game reviews from today's paper. We covered "Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy"; "Igor"; "Master of the Monster Lair"; "Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia"; "Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon"; "Silent Hill: Homecoming"; "BioShock"; "Left 4 Dead"; and "Dead Space".

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